Jan. 12 (UPI) — A “emergency alert” at a nuclear power plant in Ontario was “issued by mistake,” the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission said Sunday.
Millions of residents received the alert at 7:19 a.m. that “an incident was reported at the Pickering Nuclear Station.” More than an hour later, officials said the alert was sent in error.
The emergency alert said it applied to people within 6.2 miles of the power plants. “There has been NO abnormal release of radioactivity and emergency staff are responding to the situation,” the message read. “People near the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station DO NOT need to take any protective actions at this time. Remain tuned to local media for further information and instructions.”
But the power commission posted on Twitter at 8:46 a.m: “CNSC has been informed that Pickering is safe and that the alert was issued by mistake. The CNSC is in touch with the Province Emergency Operations Centre and @opg to issue a correction.”
Ontario Power Generation, which owns the plant, also issued a correction, tweeting: “the alert regarding #Pickering Nuclear was sent in error. There is no danger to the public or environment.”
Durham Regional police also posted on Twitter they received an alert.
“Like many of you, I was very troubled to have received that emergency alert this morning,” Mayor Dave Ryan tweeted. “While I am relieved that there was no actual emergency, I am upset that an error such as this occurred. I have spoken to the Province, and am demanding that a full investigation take place.
The plant includes eight nuclear reactors on the edge of Lake Ontario in Pickering, east of Toronto.
Canada’s oldest nuclear plant, which was built in 1971, produces about 15 percent of Ontario’s power. Around 90,000 residents live in the area, according to the Toronto Sun.